Huawei has been making great inroads into Xiaomi's domain of the sub Rs. 15,000 segment in smartphones. Earlier with the Honor 7X and now with the brilliantly priced Honor 9 Lite, the company is keen on making a dent in the space.
The Honor 9 Lite launched in India today, was introduced in China last month. It packs a 5.65-inch full-HD+ full-screen or 18:9 aspect ratio display running on the company's own Kirin 659 SoC similar to the Honor 7X. The best part is that it runs on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box with EMUI 8.0 custom skin on top.
It features a duo of 13-megapixel front and rear cameras, which are augmented by 2-megapixel secondary camera on both sides to capture depth information. The phone has a metal frame which is sandwiched between two plates of 2.5D curved glass. This gives the phone a very premium look, which is missing from most unibody metal smartphones in the segment. There is no fingerprint sensor on the front to break the design, instead, it is present on the back and is said to unlock the device in a mere 0.25 seconds.
Though the front is mostly taken up by the display, you do have the honor branding at the bottom and the cameras with the earpiece/sensors up top.
Connectivity options are aplenty on the Honor 9 Lite with a hybrid dual-SIM slot to expand storage, 4G VoLTE for Jio, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS to get you through the day. There's a 3000 mAh battery, which does seem a bit small for the larger display, but we will see in our battery rundown tests and review, how it performs.
Another feat of design is that all this is neatly tucked in a body which is just 7.6mm in thickness, this makes the phone feel lighter and also easier to use in one hand. Yes, the back and front are both fingerprint magnets, nothing a matte screen guard and a case can't solve.
There are two variants of the Honor 9 Lite, one with 3GB RAM and 32GB onboard storage which has been priced at just Rs. 10,999. There is no other phone in a segment which comes close to what it offers. The 64GB storage option with 4GB RAM comes in at 14,999 which is a bit unpalatable given the price of the 3GB variant.
Nevertheless, if you were planning to pick one up, the Honor 9 Lite will be going on sale starting January 21st on Flipkart and Honor Store. You will also be able to get 10% instant cashback on CitiBank Debit and Credit cards on launch day.